Statement of the G-77 and China during the IAEA Board of Governors
delivered by H.E. Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Permanent Representative of the IR of Iran,
6-10 June 2011
Agenda Item 3: The Annual Report for 2010
1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I would like to thank the Director General for his comprehensive introductory statement.
2. The Group would like to thank the Director General and the Secretariat for preparing the draft of the Annual Report for 2010 as contained in document GOV/2011/21, which provides very useful information on the activities of the Agency and their results throughout the past year.
3. The Group notes that the Annual Report 2010 focuses on activities implemented in 2010. Nevertheless, the Group would like to urge the IAEA to take all necessary measures to judiciously incorporate the lessons learnt from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, in all its relevant activities for larger benefit of Member States.
Nuclear Power, Fuel cycle and Nuclear Science
4. The Group notes that a large number of developing Member States remained seriously interested in launching nuclear power programmes and that of the 60 countries that received Agency assistance in this area through national and regional technical cooperation projects in 2010, approximately one third were studying the nuclear power option in preparation for a decision. The Group encourages the Agency to continue to provide necessary support to the requesting Member States interested in launching and expanding nuclear power programmes. In this regard, the Group welcomes the establishment of the Technical Working Group on Nuclear Power Infrastructure (TWG-NPI) in 2010 to provide advice to the Agency to support Member States considering or introducing a nuclear programme and to share experience and information on national programmes.
5. The Group notes with appreciation the work of the Agency in rendering engineering support for operation, maintenance and plant life management by compiling and disseminating information on technological advances, best practices and lessons learned from past experience. In this context, the Group welcomes increased Technical Cooperation projects in 2010 in strengthening Member State capabilities to improve nuclear power plant performance and service life.
6. The Group notes with appreciation the introduction of Advanced Reactors Information System (ARIS) in 2010 to provide Member States with up to date information about all available nuclear reactor designs as well as important development trends.
7. The Group continues to believe that the success of the nuclear programme would largely depend on the availability of sufficient skilled workforce in all stages of the nuclear development. The Group encourages the Agency to continue to provide support to Member States in human resource development. In this connection, the Group notes with interest the initiative announced by the Agency in collaboration with other organization to conduct a number of surveys of human resource needs and supplies throughout the nuclear power field, and to develop workforce planning tools for countries considering or launching new nuclear power programmes.
8. The Group appreciates the work of the Agency in the area of Nuclear Reactor Technology Development through the Technical Working Groups in different reactor technologies, small and medium sized reactors and non electric applications, such as hydrogen generation and desalination using nuclear power. The Group notes with satisfaction various activities accomplished in this area through coordinated research projects, technical meetings, workshops, training and publication of documents.
9. The Group notes with satisfaction that the Agency's International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), which was established in 2001 to ensure that sustainable nuclear energy is available to meet the needs of the 21st century, completed 10 years in 2010. The Group encourages the Agency's continued efforts to seek innovation in nuclear power. The Group notes that the INPRO Dialogue Forum established by the Agency in 2010 held deliberations on Nuclear Energy Innovations pertaining to socioeconomic and macroeconomic factors as well as institutional challenges associated with multilateral approaches to sustainable nuclear power deployment.
10. The Group encourages the Agency to continue to provide full support to the developing Member States of the Agency in the area of uranium production. The Group welcomes the inclusion in the Report of activities like Nuclear Power Reactor Fuel Engineering, Spent Fuel Management and Integrated Nuclear Fuel Cycle Information System.
11. The Group notes the efforts of the Agency directed towards efficient use of fissile and fertile material under the heading 'topical advanced fuel cycle' and considers them important and timely from the sustainability considerations in view of the renewed interest in the nuclear power in large number of Member states.
12. The Group notes with appreciation that the Agency's Integrated Nuclear Fuel Cycle Information System (iNFCIS) which makes it possible to analyse the different stages, facilities, capacities, interlinkages and synergies related to various fuel cycle options and approaches, has in 2010 initiated a new activity to collect information on the World Distribution of Thorium Deposits and Resources (ThDEPO).
13. The Group notes with satisfaction that a large number of energy analysts in various developing countries have been trained and national energy assessment efforts were supported through Agency TC projects. The Group appreciates the various activities of the Agency in the area of knowledge management and notes with satisfaction that International Nuclear Information System (INIS) has completed 40 years and has a current membership of 148 countries and 24 international organizations and is a key provider of knowledge on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.
14. The Group welcomes the inclusion in the Report of activities under atomic and nuclear data, research reactors, accelerators, nuclear instrumentation and spectrometry and nuclear fusion and reiterates its support for these programmes.
15. The Group notes that in view of shortage of Molibdenum-99 supplies as a result of shutdown of two main radioisotope generating research reactors in 2008-2010, the Agency has taken initiative for international collaboration to support the transition to 99Mo production based on LEU and is contemplating formation of an international expert group under Agency auspices, to coordinate further actions. The Group requests the Secretariat to redouble its efforts to ensure uninterrupted radioisotope supplies, including through the enhancement of the utilization of reactors in developing countries for isotope production.
16. With regard to non-power nuclear applications, the Group attaches great importance to the various activities in the application of nuclear and isotopic techniques in the fields of food and agriculture, human health, management of water resources, environment, industry, radioisotope and radiation technology, as part of efforts to achieve some of the key targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The Group views that it is important that the Agency continues to assist Member States in the attainment of the MDGs and through Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs) on a variety of technological and scientific resources available within the Agency's capacity.
17. The Group acknowledges the trend in leveraging partnerships with Member States focusing on utilization of their skills, knowledge and facilities and notes with satisfaction the expansion of the Collaborating Centre scheme with research institutions in Member States which grew in 2010 from 14 to 20 and the cooperation with universities and research institutions that resulted in the completion of 19 Coordinated Research Projects. The Group views positively these networking activities and the expansion of educational and facilitating role played by the agency leading to the development of, inter alia, on-line curriculum in the area of human health and training videos in isotope hydrology. The Group therefore encourages the continuation and expansion of such activities in the future.
18. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's efforts in fulfilling one of its mandates by seeking to enhance the capabilities of Member States in preventing, diagnosing and treating health problems, including cancer, through the application of a range of nuclear techniques. The lack of medical specialists in developing countries is of grave concern of the Group. In this regard, the Group appreciates the efforts of the Agency to assist in reducing this shortage by developing educational materials and syllabuses and launching of the on-line "Human Health Campus", which provides insights into the different aspects of modern clinical practice and serves as a resource and platform for hosting and disseminating learning materials.
19. In acknowledging the danger of improper use of ionizing radiation for health treatment and the importance of accurate use of dosimetry, the Group commends the efforts by the Agency to promote the safe use of nuclear technologies in medicine. In this respect, the Group appreciates the hosting of an international symposium on 'Standards, Applications and Quality Assurance in Medical Radiation Dosimetry' in November 2010 to foster the exchange of information and highlight recent developments in this field, which was attended by twelve international and professional organizations, featuring 372 participants from 66 Member States. The Group welcomes such initiatives and believes that this will help to promote public acceptance to the safe use of nuclear technology.
20. Combating cancer has been the main focus of the Agency activities during the year 2010 and, in this respect, the Group highly commends the continued efforts to strengthen the Agency's collaboration with leading cancer organizations through the WHO/IAEA Joint Programme on Cancer Control under the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT). The Group takes note with appreciation the capacity building and awareness initiatives in 2010, inter alia, the coordination and planning meetings on cancer control Agency attended by 72 policy makers from the African and the Asia-Pacific region and the first joint seminar intended for Member States with PACT Model Demonstration Sites (PMDSs), in collaboration with WHO. The Group thanks the PACT Management Office for its fundraising efforts and encourages it to continue this noble endeavour.
21. The Group also notes the high demand of the Agency's integrated missions of PACT (imPACT) reviews, with 16 imPACT reviews conducted in 2010 and hopes that many more Member States could benefit from this programme. The Group also wishes to take note that it is not desirable for overhead costs or programme support costs to be applied to private institutions that wish to give grants to PACT, to private donations and future extrabudgetary contributions for PACT activities.
22. The Group further appreciates the external financial support for this programme from various Member States and organizations which enables the funding of 25 imPACT reviews and PMDS follow-up missions and encourages such noble efforts.
23. The Group commends the Agency for its role in the ongoing global water management and took notes of the MDG of "reducing in half the number of people without access to safe drinking water". While recognizing that significant progress has been made towards the achievement of this goal, the Group is aware that the results are still uneven, especially taking into account that some large regions currently have less than 60% access to water and that improvements in water quality have not kept up with enhanced water access. The Group therefore appreciates the Agency's effort in initiating a project in 2010 called the IWAVE project (IAEA Water Availability Enhancement) aims at facilitating the comprehensive gathering and use of scientific information to fully assess the availability and quality of water resources using isotope techniques. The Group further appreciates the efforts of the Agency to strengthened Member State capabilities to use isotope techniques for water resources management by producing training tools and videos, conducting training courses for analytical and data analysis methods, and expanding its global isotope monitoring networks, and initiating a thematic series of isotope hydrology atlases. The Group thus notes with appreciation the publication of regional Atlases of Isotope Hydrology that will be useful in making existing isotope data available to Member States.
24. The Group recognizes that radioisotope products are major tools for nuclear applications and therefore appreciates the Agency's activities in this fields which focus on promoting innovation in Member States, taking notes that a CRP completed in 2010 resulted in the development of two novel technetium-99m tracers leading to their clinical use in breast cancer patients. The Group also notes with satisfaction the conclusion of another CRP which resulted in the development of methodologies for the preparation of radiation grafted membranes to remove pollutants (e.g. heavy metal ions, toxic compounds) from wastewater and the expansion of the utilization of Member State capabilities in various institutions for industrial dosimetry intercomparison exercise that are vital for the effective and efficient application of radiation processing technology.
25. In food and agriculture, the Group acknowledges the fact that the world's growing population continued to be faced with inadequate food supplies, due to the changing environment and the global financial crisis in which nuclear and isotopic techniques could provides the mitigating solutions. The Group notes that the early application of rapid and sensitive nuclear and nuclear related diagnostic tests to control transboundary animal diseases was one of the Agency's key prioritiesin 2010 that contributed to the control and eradication of rinderpest, a devastating disease of cattle. The Group commends the Agency for the great success of this effort. The FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health have officially declared the global eradication of rinderpest, the first time that this has been achieved for an animal disease. The Group further notes with appreciation that the sterile insect techniques continues to be used for suppressing or eradicating insects such as fruit flies, tsetse flies, moths and others and the use is being expanded to other crops such as cotton and sugarcane in various countries. The Group therefore encourages further expansion of this technique to other crops and to other regions in order to achieve greater yield in food production for mankind.
26. The Group recognizes the unique role that the Agency plays in enhancing the capabilities of Member States in understanding environmental dynamics and in the identification and mitigation of marine and terrestrial environment problems caused by radioactive and non-radioactive pollutants using nuclear techniques. The Group notes that the Agency provides reference materials to Member States to improve quality, accreditation and measurement procedures for the analysis of environmental samples and therefore appreciates the agency's endeavour to prepare for the accreditation of the Agency's Environment Laboratories in order to maintain the integrity and quality of its services.
27. In view of the crucial role that the Technical Cooperation Programme plays in upholding the promotional pillar of the Agency and in the implementation of technical cooperation activities in Member States for their sustainable socioeconomic development, the Group of 77 and China reiterates its calls for the strengthening of the promotional activities of the Agency including technical cooperation through the provision of adequate resources to cater for the growing needs of Member States.
Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Security
28. The Group notes that any nuclear incident or accident may have global and regional consequences. Hence, the Group reiterates its appreciation for the Agency's continuing efforts to promote nuclear safety worldwide. While recognizing that the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rests with the States, the Group believes that the Agency plays an important role in this field as provided for in Article III of the Statute. The Group stresses that the Agency must retain a central role in this field, owing to its mandatory functions, broader membership and long-standing expertise. The Group remains of the view that nuclear safety and security considerations should not be used to hamper the utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes in developing countries. The Group appreciates the diverse Agency activities undertaken in 2010 in these areas.
29. While appreciating that the safety performance of the nuclear industry remained at a high level in 2010 and various safety indicators continued to show some improvements, the Group considers that with the occurrence of the Fukushima accident, after the Annual Report period, the need for reviewing and strengthening the international nuclear safety framework, as well as emergency preparedness and response capabilities, has become more relevant. Hence, the Group welcomes the convening by the Director General of the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety. Safety has to remain a matter of continuous vigilance and improvement and there can be no complacency.
30. The Group notes that during 2010, the Agency was informed of 148 safety related incidents involving or suspected to involve ionizing radiation. Most of these events were found to have no safety significance and/or no radiological impact on people or the environment. The Group would like to encourage the Agency to enhance its efforts to assist Member States in improving their ability to respond to such incidents. The Group notes the usefulness of the Agency's Response Assistance Network (RANET) in this regard. It also appreciates the strengthening of national emergency preparedness and response capacity through a large number of training events, conduct of Incident and Emergency Centre exercises with Member States and carrying out IEC missions.
31. The Group welcomes assistance to developing countries embarking on nuclear power programmes and encourages the Agency to continue its efforts in developing and strengthening the nuclear safety infrastructure needed to develop nuclear power as part of their national energy mix. In terms of regulatory infrastructures, the Group commends the establishment in 2010 of the Regulatory Cooperative Forum (RCF) and expects that it will be helpful for the Member States considering the initiation or expansion of nuclear power programmes to improve their exchange of regulatory knowledge and experience. It also appreciates the Agency's establishment of the Global Safety Assessment Network (G-SAN) in 2010 to support international efforts to harmonise nuclear safety and the continued development of Safety Assessment Education and Training Programme (SAET) for the standardization and harmonization of education and training programmes based on Agency's safety standards.
32. The Group notes the Agency's continued efforts in supporting the sharing of knowledge, expertise and information on all aspects of nuclear safety, inter alia, regulatory supervision, best practices in nuclear safety and aging management for research reactors.
33. The Group takes note of the approval by the Commission on Safety Standards of the revised International Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Ionizing Radiation and for the Safety of Radiation Sources (BSS).
34. The Group appreciates the efforts undertaken for reducing unnecessary radiation doses to patients. It also notes with satisfaction that the occupational radiation exposure in the nuclear facilities is being managed well.
35. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's networking activities related to information exchange on good practices in the management of radioactive waste and the holding of training course in the area of radioactive waste management. The Group notes the development of borehole disposal system by the Agency, as a simple and economically viable option for disposal of disused sources.
36. Turning to nuclear security, the Group appreciates the publication of nuclear security guidance documents, provision of training in the area of nuclear security to a large number of relevant professionals and provision of equipment to Member States for detecting and responding to the unauthorized movement of nuclear and other radioactive material. Many of these activities were undertaken as part of the Agency's Nuclear Security Plan 2010-2013.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda Item 4: Strengthening of the Agency's technical cooperation activities: Technical Cooperation Report for 2010
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank Deputy Director General Mr. Kwaku Aning for his introductory statement and the staff of the Technical Cooperation Department for preparing the relevant documents and for the briefing on this subject held on Tuesday 24th May.
2. The Group wishes to reiterate the paramount importance of the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) of the Agency, as the main statutory vehicle to transfer nuclear technology. The TCP plays a key role in the promotion of nuclear technology for sustainable socioeconomic progress in developing countries and contributes towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, to which the Group is fully committed.
3. The Group reiterates that the TCP is a shared responsibility and it has to be the result of the combined efforts of the technical Departments, the Department of Technical Cooperation and the Member States themselves. These efforts are crucial for the planning and successful implementation of the TCP, which should be based on the needs and evolving priorities of Member States implementing TC projects.
4. The Group notes with concern that the Rate of Attainment, on payments to TCF, stood at 87.9% at the end of 2010, 6.6% less than in 2009.
5. Regarding the Technical Cooperation Fund, the Group calls upon all Members States to do their utmost to pay their full share in accordance with the indicative scale of assessment in a timely manner. In addition to that, the Group reiterates to the Secretariat to strictly apply the due account mechanism.
6. While taking note that the implementation rate was reported at 76.6%, the Group acknowledges that the actual disbursements for the year 2010 were around 29 Mio US$ more than in 2009. In this regard, the Group thanks the explanation provided by the Secretariat in the sense that the implementation rate is calculated based on the adjusted Programme and not on the actual new resources of the year. Therefore the Group is of the view that the reported implementation rate is not an accurate representation of the programme delivery.
7. Moreover, the Group calls on the Agency to address the long-standing obstacles such as delays and denials for procurement as well as the continuing problems with travel and visa restrictions imposed by a number of countries that affect the programme delivery. In some cases, several incidences that are beyond the control of Member States and the Agency hamper programme delivery, among them the major natural disasters and particular security situations.
8. The Group encourages all staff members of the TC Programme to continue working hard, in close collaboration with Member States, to improve programme delivery despite resource constraints in Major Programme 6.
9. The Groups appreciates the Directors General initiative to select cancer as a key focus area for 2010. Being aware of the impact of cancer as a serious disease, the Group appreciates the TC projects carried out in all regions aimed at strengthening capacities to combat this disease, in particular in the developing world.
10. The Group also welcomes the success of the TC activities within the different regions and thanks the Secretariat for its role in providing support and assistance to Member States. In particular, the Group takes note with appreciation of the TC projects related to capacity building, enhancement of nuclear safety and, in a more general way, the various projects contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in developing countries, such as human health, food and agriculture and radioisotope production projects.
11. With regard to the aspects of enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the technical cooperation programme, the Group considers the Country Programme Framework (CPF) to be a useful programming tool. While CPF certainly cannot fully express the dynamic needs and priorities of Member States participating in TC programs, they provide guidance in planning and prioritization.
12. The Group believes that the Programme Management Officer (PMO), who is the direct interface between the Agency and the Member State, acts as the Agency's resident expert on a Member State's needs, interests and priorities. In that regard, taking into account the technical nature of the Agency's programmes, the close collaboration between the PMO and Member States counterpart, usually the National Liaison Officer (NLO), cannot be delegated to UN resident representatives. The joint responsibility of the PMO and the Member State's counterpart is to carefully design projects based on the Central Criterion and developmental strategies of the Member States concerned, using the IT-based Programme Cycle Management Framework (PCMF).
13. In this regard, the Group looks forward to the enhancement of this IT-platform, particularly by making it a more user-friendly tool, and reiterates the need to continue to provide appropriate training to Member States in its subsequent phases of implementation.
14. The Group stresses the vital role of the National Liaison Officers (NLOs) in TC project design and implementation. In this context, the continued strengthening of the NLOs' management capabilities, together with the strengthening of the role of the Programme Management Officer (PMO), would be essential to enhance country programme delivery.
15. While appreciating the various activities of the Agency for the development of human resources and capacity building in project design, the Group notes that financing project design training through regular budget or extra budgetary contributions would allow the TCF to be devoted to the implementation of TC projects.
16. The Group remains concerned that the resources for the TCP are still not sufficient, assured and predictable (SAP) to meet the objectives mandated in Article II of the Statute as called for in several General Conference resolutions. The Group also calls for adequate funding for MP-6 to facilitate successful programme delivery.
17. However, the Group considers that it is necessary for the Agency to maintain a balance between its promotional activities and its other statutory activities. The Group stresses the need to strengthen Technical Cooperation activities and continuously enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the TCP in accordance with the requests and evolving needs of Member States. The Group also emphasizes that all measures taken and policies adopted in this regard should preserve and enhance the ownership of TC projects by developing countries.
18. As expressed before, the Group would like to emphasize that by virtue of their specialized technical focus, many areas of TC projects may not fit in the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). Therefore, the alignment with UNDAF should not be a requirement for TC projects.
19. With these remarks, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the TC Report for 2010, as contained in document GOV/2011/25.
20. Finally Mr. Chairman, allow me now to turn to document GOV/2011/32. In this regard, the Group takes note with appreciation the "Technical cooperation project in support of a marine benchmark study on the possible impact of the Fukushima radioactive releases in the Asia-Pacific region" aimed at enabling the Members states of the Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and technology (RCA) to evaluate the extent and the possible impact of the releases of radioactivity from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the marine environment and make scientific assessments of the data. In light of the event and its urgent needs, the Group believes that execution of such project is timely and beneficial to the region and therefore should be duly supported.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 5: Report of the Programme and Budget Committee
1. The Group takes note of document GOV/2011/28, the report on the Programme and Budget Committee, held in May 2011, containing references to the Agency's Accounts for 2010, including the External Auditor's Report and the Programme Evaluation Report for 2010 and the appointment of the External Auditor for 2012-2013. The Group has already expressed its detailed comments on these issues during the Programme and Budget Committee sessions.
2. With regard to the Agency's Programme and Budget for 2012-2013, The Group of 77 and China greatly appreciates the efforts undertaken by H.E. Ambassador Marjatta Rasi, Permanent Representative of Finland, in carrying out extensive consultations with member states and thanks her for presenting a new revised "budgetary scenario" for this Board of Governors, as contained in Note 48, dated 2nd June 2011. I would also like to thank Mr. Lauri Hirvonen of the Finland Mission in this regard.
3. As expressed before, the Group believes that the Agency should be provided with the necessary financial resources needed to fully carry out its statutory mandate.
4. The Group wishes to reiterate the paramount importance it attaches to the Agency's technical cooperation activities, which, according to the Statute, is the central objective of the Agency.
5. The Group remains concerned by the lack of balance between the resources allocated to the promotional and non-promotional activities of the Agency.
6. The Group is aware that the outcome of the June ministerial conference on nuclear safety may have budgetary implications that will need to be addressed by IAEA Members States in due time.
7. In addition to that, taking into account that this year Member States are dealing with a parallel process of negotiations to agree upon the Regular Budget and the Technical Cooperation Fund, the Group wants to reiterate the decision of the Board of Governors, as contained in document GOV/2010/37: "With respect to the targets for voluntary contributions to the TCF, the 2005 decision to synchronize the TC programme cycle with the regular programme and budget cycle provides a framework to consider increases to the resources for the TC programme, including the TCF target, beginning in 2012. Such adjustments would take into account the changes in the level of the regular operational budget from 2009 onwards, the price adjustment in the corresponding years, and all other relevant factors".
8. The Group wishes to express its willingness to consider Ambassador Rasi's new proposal to be the basis of consensus on the understanding that it would come along with the consensus on an appropriate TCF target that takes into account the concerns and needs of all Member States.
9. In this regard, the Group wishes also to express its deepest appreciation to the two co-chairs of the Working Group on TCF Targets, Ambasador Guerreiro of Brazil and Ambassador Kuchynova Smigolova of the Czech Republic, for their tireless efforts and extensive informal consultations.
10. The Group takes note of the new proposal submitted by the co-chairs, as contained in Note 46, dated 1st June 2011. The Group would like to highlight that our genuine expectation, which was based upon the past decisions of the Board of Governors, has not been met. Nevertheless, in the spirit of compromise, we could accept the proposed TCF target, i.e. US$ 88.75 million for each of the years 2012 and 2013, in the hope that the future TCF target negotiations would be based on the parameters established in the past Board decisions.
11. With these comments the Group takes note of the Report of the Programme and Budget Committee, as contained in document GOV/2011/28.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
Agenda item 6: Issues related to the Fukushima Daiichi accident
1. The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate its deepest expression of condolence and solidarity to the people and Government of Japan for the natural disasters occurred in its territory in March 2011.
2. The Group takes note of the document GOV/INF/2011/8 reporting the various activities carried out by the Agency in response to the very serious accident that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the major earthquake and devastating tsunami of 11th March 2011.
3. At the outset, the Group notes that any nuclear incident or accident may have regional and global consequences. Hence, the Group reiterates its appreciation for the Agency's continuing efforts to promote nuclear safety worldwide. While recognizing that the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rests with the States, the Group believes that the Agency plays an important role in this field as provided for in Article III of the Statute.
4. The Group would like to express its appreciation for the various activities organized by the Agency for keeping Member States informed of developments relating to the accident, inter alia, through the technical briefings organized and updated information provided to Member States periodically, as well as for the visit that the Director General made to Japan in March 2011 and the different IAEA expert missions sent to Japan after the accident.
5. As indicated in the document GOV/INF/2011/8, the Group is aware that the Agency's central role under the framework of emergency preparedness and response for nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies includes:
- Prompt notification of the emergency to Member States and international organizations;
- Exchange and/or provision of official (authenticated and verified) information to Member States and international organizations;
- Coordination of international assistance, upon request of the State concerned; and
- provision and/or coordination of public information that is timely, accurate and appropriate.
6. While thanking the efforts of the Agency to fulfill these obligations, the Group expected, inter alia, more coherent and better analyzed information by the Agency on the data made available to it, in order to enable Member States to better understand the overall situation.
7. The Group appreciates the series of initiatives taken by the Director-General in response to the accident and expects that the Agency will continue to remain closely engage in the future developments at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in order to provide Members States with accurate and timely information.
8. The Group strongly supports the objective and the organization of the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety which will provide political impetus and serve as a starting point for making an initial assessment of the nuclear accident in Japan, discuss lessons that need to be learned, and further strengthening the global nuclear safety framework as well as emergency preparedness and response mechanisms and the role of the IAEA in this area.
9. While taking note of the summary of the preliminary assessment by the "IAEA International Fact Finding Mission", the Group looks forward to the early publication of the final report of the preliminary assessment for the consideration of the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety to be held in Vienna from 20th to 24th June 2011.
10. The Group greatly appreciates the professionalism and leadership of Ambassador Antonio Guerreiro, Permanent Representative of Brazil, in carrying out extensive consultations with Member States in the preparations of the Ministerial Conference.
11. With these comments, the Group takes note of the document GOV/INF/2011/8
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
G77 and NAM Statement on Agenda item 11: Any other Business - Assurance of Supply
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and the Non Aligned Movement on agenda item 11, on issues related to the assurance of nuclear fuel supply.
2. While appreciating the technical briefing organized by the Secretariat on Monday 23rd May 2011, the Group would have preferred to have the document GOV/INF/2011/7 made available at an earlier stage in order to allow a more fruitful exchange of views among Member States, in particular with regard to the criteria to be applied to select the Host State of the LEU Bank.
3. The Group of 77 and NAM would like to reiterate its views and concerns expressed in its statements during the previous sessions of the Board in 2009, 2010 and 2011 on this matter which, inter alia, stated that there is a need to address thoroughly the associated technical, legal and economic aspects, as well as the underlying political dimensions of this issue, so that any proposal that emerges in this regard is in full accordance with the Statute and takes into account the respective legal obligations of Member States, and the principle of non-discrimination.
4. The multi-faceted aspects of "assurance of supply" and its various dimensions require a meticulous discussion in an open-ended format. These aspects, whose merit remain to be fully assessed, have a direct impact on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and should be subject to an in-depth consideration by the totality of the IAEA membership with a view to arriving at a consensus by its Policy Making Organs.
5. The G77 and NAM reiterates that concerns related to nuclear proliferation must not in any way restrict the inalienable right of all States to develop all aspects of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes, in particular the right to pursue national nuclear fuel cycle capabilities, including enrichment.
6. The G77 and NAM reiterates that any further consideration of the issue of "assurance of supply" must be based on an agreement among the Agency's membership on a coherent and comprehensive conceptual framework outlining the specific political, technical, economic and legal parameters that adequately addresses the views and concerns of all Member States, and apply to all the different proposals.
7. The Group has stated on many occasions that there are many unanswered questions, including those raised during the technical briefing held on Monday 23rd May, as follows:
- confirmation that any financial implications of the LEU Bank, including those of implementing safeguards, would be borne through extra budgetary resources;
- issues related to liability and legal responsibility of the host state in the event of an accident;
- the pros and cons of having more than one host country for the LEU Bank;
- the exact role of the Agency in the functioning of the LEU bank.
8. Moreover, the Group believes, that any further development on the IAEA LEU Bank should be made in close consultation with Member States and after extensive deliberations. The Group notes that the Board decision GOV/2010/67 does not prescribe selection criteria for the host country.
9. For the reasons expressed above, the G77 and NAM continue to stress that an open-ended working group is still the best forum for conducting the discussions related to the issue of "assurance of supply", and requests the Chairman of the Board to continue his efforts at achieving consensus in this regard.